Selecting the Perfect Engagement Ring: Blindly Choosing, Getting Lucky

I’m not sure when the exact moment came when I decided I was ready to marry Jenny. Our relationship had been official for almost two years when my next goal in life was to propose. We had talked about it plenty in our relationship already. We referred to each other as husband and wife for months prior to even meeting in person. Taking the plunge was nothing more than a formality like turning on the sink after using the bathroom just to fool everyone else into thinking you’re washing your hands.

Picking out an engagement ring was not something I really thought about in the past. Selecting what I want from a menu at a restaurant is a passive enough decision. Now I’d have to single-handedly decide what expensive piece of diamond dug from the earth my future fiancée would wear and hopefully not throw back in my face when she realizes what a mistake she made by saying yes; if she even did say yes.

Long before I actually decided it was time to pop the question I learned Jenny’s ring size. I’d mention it here, but I would prefer to keep it a secret in case anyone out there is planning on trying to steal her away. If you guess correctly then maybe you and she are meant to be. Otherwise you have to work to steal her away. I’m not going to give you any hints as to how.

The plus side of living where I do is I’m in New York City every day. You can practically walk into a jewelry store without trying. There are tons of options which means you can get by without doing much research. I chose Zales because they were a franchise I was familiar with. They also had more reasonable prices than Kay Jewelers, another popular chain. I am also firmly against every kiss beginning with K.

I headed to Zales after work one day, a slight detour from my usual route I take to the train station. The only information I had to go on for what type of ring I wanted was the size and two pictures of rings Jenny had sent me before.

This is the ring I attempted to replicate most.
This is the ring I attempted to replicate most.
This is the other ring I sought out in my epic journey.
This is the other ring I sought out in my epic journey.

Using this limited bit of information I strutted into the store with no clue how to go about actually buying the ring other than handing over my credit card and having someone else do the work for me. In this case, knowing how important it was that I actually do the selecting, I wasn’t about to let some stranger decide at all for me.

After a few minutes of pretending like I was a seasoned divorcee who had bought rings many times before, a woman approached me and asked if I needed any help. If there was a word shorter than “yes” I could have expressed then I surely would have spit it out. I’m sure my face wasn’t the first clueless one she has encountered as my naivety was pretty obvious when she told me I was in the ring section of the store and had been for about three minutes. In fact, the engagement rings were on the other side of the shop.

Now directed to the actual engagement rings, I scanned through just trying to find anything resembling what Jenny had sent me. I knew the general price range I wanted to spend, a very important part of any big purchase such as a ring, car, or anything else you want to last. More than that, I knew the general price range where Jenny would prefer I just buy her 100 books instead. I found a happy medium where I wasn’t too cheap or selling my soul.

One ring did stand out to me almost immediately. I decided to continue looking through the glass encasement which I’m sure was there as more than a sneeze guard like I’m used to at buffets. This glass was actually protecting something more valuable than macaroni and cheese. However, let’s not completely negate the glass’s ability to block from boogers landing on promises.

I eventually returned back to the ring that had caught my eye. Another man was sitting near it while looking carefully at other more expensive rings. He was an older guy and I assume had bought a similar ring like this for a woman in every city he travels to. The price of the ring I wanted was reasonable and looked a lot like one of the two pictures Jenny had sent me. The ring was silver, shiny, and simple. It didn’t have a large diamond on it either. This was something I noticed immediately was out of Jenny’s taste-range. The ring was perfect for her. I just had to hope I was perfect for her too. As much as I knew she’d say yes when presented with the idea of spending her life with me, in the moment you’re buying the ring there is some doubt.

I made the purchase and had it set to be resized. According to the woman who helped me out, it would be ready for pickup later in the week. I got a phone call two days later telling me to stop in anytime. When I did the woman who helped me originally was not there. Instead there was a woman a little too entitled for my liking. When I approached and told her I was there to pick up an engagement ring she told me there was no engagement ring under my name, only a “wedding band.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by this as it was all very new to me.

I don't wear glasses and need to, but I'll say I did a pretty good job at finding a ring that looked very close to one of the examples.
I don’t wear glasses and need to, but I’ll say I did a pretty good job at finding a ring that looked very close to one of the examples.

I’m sure in the jewelry industry it’s a huge difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band. To me it was like calling a movie a film or confusing a raw carrot with a piece of trash; it’s the same thing. If it’s expensive jewelry and can fit around a finger, you can call it whatever you want. The promise you make with it is what matters most.

Admittedly, her comments bummed me out a bit. It was already a rainy day and I had a long trek home as usual. Now it was in my head that I had spent $NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS on the wrong item. My trip was less than a week away too and there was no real turning back or questioning whether or not Jenny would notice or even care that I may have gotten her a wedding band instead of an engagement ring.

In spite of actually purchasing a wedding band instead of an engagement ring (I think), I liked my decision because it was what would have made Jenny happy. Practically every day, she reminds me how much she loves her ring which is actually out of character for her. Jenny doesn’t like anything that much unless it’s sugary and comes after dinner.

The ring was stashed in my bag for my flight to the Philippines. When the customs sheet I had to fill out mentioned something about claiming jewelry I had a mini-panic attack thinking I was breaking some sort of law. I thought for sure I’d end up in some bamboo prison on a remote island. As it turns out nobody checked my bags once I got into the Philippines and the customs form I filled out made for a great napkin later on.

Jenny, of course, said yes and my ring-picking skills were a success. As scary as it seemed, all I really needed to know was the type of style she preferred. I’m fortunate she’s not a very picky person when it comes to things like this. The ring fit well and as far as I know, was the ideal one.

5 thoughts on “Selecting the Perfect Engagement Ring: Blindly Choosing, Getting Lucky

  1. It’s a major investment financially, and also time wise. You know it’s something she’s going to wear every day, so the pressure’s on to pick the perfect ring that you know she’s going to love, but it is common for women to like what they’re given. You can get a read on what she’s into by looking at the jewelry that she already owns.


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